My return to 5:2. Again. (Forewarning: Long post!)

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My return to 5:2. Again. (Forewarning: Long post!)

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Poggy-Vegan 6 hours, 34 minutes ago.

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  • Hello everyone,

    Firstly, I hope any of you who decided to read my post are doing well both generally and on 5:2. This has always been a great community, hence why I am back on here again on my 5th or 6th attempt at fasting.

    In a nutshell, I did 4:3 for 4 months back in 2013/14 and successfully lost 10lbs. I got pregnant, had my baby boy, and came out at the other side 6lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight. Cue return to work, office cakes, birthdays, and one saboteur colleague, and I found myself 11lbs heavier than pre-pregnancy weight. I tried to fast a few times since then and didn’t have the endurance, either in terms of my willpower or indeed my desire to really want to do it. I knew I should do it, but I don’t think that knowledge outweighed my desire to eat whatever and whenever I wanted. So inevitably I gave up and was doing nothing about that additional weight, apart from adding to it slowly.

    So here I am, I don’t know what attempt this is (5th or 6th maybe) and I am on my 4th fast day. I may turn out to be a complete sh*t talker if I can’t see this through, but I hope this time that I am approaching it in the right way, with a different attitude to before.

    Firstly, my motivation for wanting to lose the weight is different to any time I have tried to do 5:2 before. Previously it was about getting into smaller jeans and getting rid of my belly pouch as fast as possible. To a degree I still want the smaller jeans, but having had a baby and not being the biggest gym fanatic, I think the belly pouch is always going to be a part of my life. Post-pregnancy stretched skin has seen to that! But I’m ok with it. My motivator now is wanting to try for another baby this year, but not wanting to embark on that journey again whist still carrying additional weight from baby #1. My bump was huge when I carried my son (who was 9lbs 2oz at birth), and towards the end of the pregnancy my body really struggled to carry my weight and walking was very painful. I’m not very big, but I have an issue with being too flexible, which was very much exacerbated by the pregnancy. So in preparation for round 2, I want to be in better shape. My goal is to lose a total of up to 18lbs, which should actually take me to 7lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight, which was my original goal weight when I started fasting 4 years ago.

    Secondly, I am not doing 4:3. I am doing 5:2. I don’t need to see weight loss at a rapid rate, so I won’t put the pressure on myself to do 3 days. I have tried that during my more recent attempts and I struggled to do it. So I will do 5:2 and be appreciative of what results I see, even if they are slower. Progress is progress, and I feel that allowing myself 5 non-fast days will make this way of life much easier to stick with. So far so good anyway 🙂

    Thirdly, and I think finally, I am trying to use this attempt at fasting as an education. I am in week 2, and I have allowed myself to do whatever I want on non-fast days. I’m not counting calories or measuring TDEE. This is because I want to learn from my habits of old. I want to see the difference in how my body feels between eating on a fast day, and eating the copious amounts of crap and large portion sizes which I allow myself on non-fast days. I hope that this will eventually change my habits generally, such that non-fast days in the future will be much more balanced, without feeling like deprivation of any sort. This has been an interesting experiment so far, but I don’t think I have been doing it long enough to really give any meaningful input here. So I will come back to this later (if I am still here later! No no, I WILL be here.)

    Having waffled on to the extent that I have so far, I can happily say that 3 fast days in (today is fast day 4), I am 2 lbs down, 1.5 of which I have calculated to be body fat. I have one of those bathroom scales that measures weight, body fat, water and BMI, and although I know that the numbers may not be 100% accurate, the loss each week should be. So I am quite happy about that.

    For those that may be interested, my preferred method of fasting is to save all of my calories for an evening meal. I have found in the past that eating anything during the day kick starts my appetite, which I then have to put up with all day. Only eating one meal in the evening is much easier for me, and the meal is bigger and more satisfying. I drink water and tea (with skimmed milk and sweeteners) during the day. I do suffer with headaches on fast days at times, but this hasn’t made me abandon a fast just yet.

    Sorry this was such a long post! I didn’t set out for it to be, but there we are. I would love to hear from any of you, whether your journey is anything like mine or not. We are all in it together!

    Thanks for reading guys. Happy Fasting 🙂

    Congrats on the birth of your baby, and your return to the diet! 2 lbs down after almost 4 fast days is amazing!

    I really like what you’re saying about treating this diet like an education. I’m a newcomer to this blog (and only started 5:2 in July 2016), but I still feel like this diet is teaching me how to listen to my body. The downside of listening to my body is, especially right now as I’m trying to fall asleep after a fast day, that it’s telling me to go make and devour that box of annie’s mac and cheese (maybe 2 or 3 of them). But the upside is that fasting becomes almost a spiritual experience–you learn how to be ok with wanting things that you can’t have, and then when it’s given, you’re so grateful.

    Another part of your post that resonated with me is the idea of not doing it purely for skinnier jeans. Obviously, that’s a serious plus :), but I find it so empty to organize my life around purely physical goals. This is much more than a diet–it’s a commitment to self-reliance and control, and your post helps me to reframe the diet in terms of something more (I’m not 100% sure what that is for me yet–maybe building inner strength).

    Anyway, sorry if I’m waxing poetic, but I really appreciated your post! In terms of fast days, I also save my 500 calories for an evening meal, so that I can have some dinner with my husband, and it still feels like a normal day. I always have a cup of hot cocoa before bed, and that makes me feel so full–I love it!

    Hey fastnfeast

    I love your username! I used to call non fast days “feast” days when I first started doing 4:3. There was something so satisfying about using the word feast when talking about my new eating regime lol.

    I’m glad you could relate to my post. I sometimes wonder if my inner ramblings are a nonsense to anyone else but it’s a comfort to know that a fellow 5:2er shares my view. Well done to you too for doing 5:2 for as long as you have!

    I thought I would report back on what I feel is my first educational observation since starting to fast again. I use the term observation, rather than lesson, because I don’t yet know exactly what I have learned – I just know that I can see a pattern emerging and I need to understand why that is so. So here goes.

    When I fast, I physically feel ok. I do feel pangs and what not, but I feel a contentment in my torso area. That might sound weird, but I am habitually an over-eater. So to end a fast day without that uncomfortable feeling of over fullness, as I normally do ever other day, has been really quite satisfying.

    Today was a non fast day, and I shocked myself by realising two thirds of the way down my bowl of morning cereal that I was full. It was my usual portion size that I can usually eat without a problem. But I was full. So I threw the rest away – a small personal victory over my normal habit of eating it all I spite of feeling full.

    But during the day, I kept having the feeling of wanting to eat, but still feeling full up. I noticed that all day, I wanted food. But my body didn’t. My stomach was satisfied, but my brain was not. It was ME that wanted to eat the big bag of crisps and haribo sweets, and chocolate buttons on the way home. My stomach was feeling that satisfied way (like I described above on a fast day) and that is when I should have stopped. But I want to keep eating. There is clearly something I enjoy so much about eating that I value it over physical comfort. Like this evening, I wasn’t hungry, but my husband was. So we BOTH ate a kebab and chips. But there was absolutely no biological demand from my tummy for that food. It was my brain that decided we were going to eat. And now as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I feel over full and bloated, and really rather uncomfortable.

    So my observations being what they are, I wonder why I do it to myself? At this point in the day, where I realise that 50% of what I have eaten was not due to hunger, I feel that I did not enjoy my non fast day. I over did it. I don’t necessarily care about the scales at this very moment, but I do care about the fact that I am going to bed feeling like I have a sack of potatoes under my ribcage. And I don’t like it.

    So what now? Apart from feeling like I want to fast tomorrow, just to get some relief from giving in to my brain’s demand for food, I suppose I should pause for a moment at that time when I feel physically full, and have a mental stand off with the part of my brain that gets gratification from eating. And hopefully walk away from that battle and be able to show myself that not eating those biscuits or chocolate or extra portion of dinner didn’t actually cause anything especially catastrophic to occur.

    Does any of that even make sense? I hope so, or I have just lost out on an additional 30 minutes of sleeping time for nothing lol. Oh well, it’s off my chest anyhow.

    Thanks again for your reply fastnfeast. 🙂

    I can relate to your posts so much! Thanks for sharing!

    I’ve been off and on 5:2 as well, but I know this is the best plan for my personality and body. I don’t count calories on NFDs as well. Cutting back on alcohol intake really helps me too.

    Good luck, keep us posted!

    Hello NatashaD I really related to your post – have never heard anyone else describe behaviour like mine so well. I too am a returning 5:2 having had good success last time (about 10kg) lost but then hit holiday and plateau and sort of slipped off habit back into old WOL…… Didn’t know about whoosh effect that time round …. might have helped if I had. I can go without breakfast and even lunch but once I start to eat I don’t stop till I feel overfull. Can never leave anything on plate and binge while filling in time whilst cooking meals for hard working OH … then eat the same meal as him! Have hopeless disregard for portion sizes and calorific content most of time, and do like a gin or two … Hve just embarked on Headspace Mindfulness app and am hoping this may help reconfigure my attitude to eating until feel bloated….. there is a section on eating which haven’t done yet….. wonder if anyone else has had success with Mindfulness practice ? Hope you are finding forums useful and that the inspiration and encouragement will harden our resolve. I wish you success in conquering what I refer to as self sabotaging and we may change our lives for the better with this flexible and adaptable regime … and be more gentle with ourselves. Good luck to everyone today FD or otherwise ….. perhaps its more ,matter over mind, because often the ,matter, isn’t hungry but the mind rules so here,s hoping that we can make that shift ! Forgive typos etc but iPad keyboard not cooperating…

    Hi Breakfromcookies and Travellinghopefully, thank you guys for posting! This is why I love this forum, it makes you realise that your struggles are not yours in isolation. As a very good friend once told me, misery likes company 🙂

    Travellinghopefully I have downloaded a Mindfullness/meditation app on the back of your post, I think that’s a really good idea. I will give it a go and see what happens. Let us know how you get on with it.

    I feel like the act of stopping eating when you are full, versus when the chemical part of your brain is satisfied (when you have reached overfull-ness) really comes down to some sort of addiction. I know it might sounds crazy, but that burning desire to eat more when you know you are full, and the almost twitchy nervousness of throwing the remaining food on your plate away (“but….it tastes so nice….and its still perfectly good…and I don’t know when I will eat it next…its such a shame to have to save it for leftovers when it never tastes as good as when its fresh”) just makes me wonder if there is some kind of chemical reaction in my brain when I eat, which I crave again and again. A release of endorphins or some other wonderful pleasure-inducing chemical that my body wants constantly. If my theory on this is right, then I guess the key to my future success in combatting overeating comes down to cracking the habit. There is no intention here to trivialise genuine and serious addiction – its just something that seems to mirror (in more severe ways obviously) the process that goes on in my body when it comes to food.

    Good luck to you guys and keep up the hard work. Because it really is hard sometimes. Its not even just about hunger pangs when you eat for more reasons than hunger. Its about dealing with that uncomfortable sensation of denying your body that chemical fix. So good luck to us all with that common goal 🙂

    Having thought about using today as a 3rd fast day last night, I have decided to stick to my non-fast day as planned. The idea of a 3rd fast became quite exciting last night (“think of the difference it could make to the scales on Monday!?”) but then I reminded myself that I’m not in it purely for the scales, so I will live and let live. No pressure. My two fast days are complete this week. But I will try to use my observations to mould better behaviours.

    I should really get the hang of shorter posts – sorry guys 🙂

    Just online looking into this theory of mine and found this article – sounds quite interesting.

    http://nutritionwonderland.com/2009/06/understanding-bodies-serotonin-connection-between-food-and-mood/

    I’ve returned to fasting having had my second child. First time fasting I lost 2 stone in 2 months this time not so lucky! I’m on month 4 and have lost hardly anything and I don’t understand why, I’m not cheating and my ‘feast days’ aren’t indulgent. Last week I decided to ramp it up and do 4:3 – hoping for results …

    Are you still there, NatashaD?

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